Winterville Watermelon Festival begins Aug. 23

The annual Winterville Watermelon Festival kicks off with a pre-party Wednesday, Aug. 23, and continues through Saturday, Aug. 26.

The 32nd annual festival features free entertainment, food and commercial vendors, and activities for the whole family.

A Night of Celebration pre-party at Winterville Recreation Park, 324 Sylvania St., begins at 6 p.m. food from Chick-fil-A and amusement rides (ride all night with a $20 wristband). A free concert will begin at 6:15 p.m. with music by Andro C. Brown, Ignite Church Worship Band and After April.

Festivities on Thursday, Aug. 24 begin at 6 p.m., with a free concert by Trainwreck Band and The Machine Gun Band beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Family Fun Night at the festival is Friday, Aug. 25, with music by Pamlico Sound Machine, The Limited and The Legacy Motown Review.

The festival continues Saturday, Aug. 26, with a Veteran Appreciation Parade, a car show, a watermelon-eating contest, and a free concert with Dakota Blue, Kasey Tyndall, Jackie Lee and LOCASH.

For a detailed schedule and parking information, visit the festival's website or Facebook page.